InterManager, the association for third party managers, has come good on its vow at the end of last month to solve the riddle of how to vaccine the world’s seafarers.
Frustrated with the lack of international coordination and progress to get seafarers jabbed with Covid-19 vaccines, senior management at the association said on April 27 they would pursue their own path to get crews vaccinated.
InterManager revealed this week it has successfully negotiated with Johnson & Johnson and has secured an in-principle order for 1m one-shot Covid-19 vaccine doses for seafarers at a reduced rate.
Given the long periods at sea between port calls, shipping has been seeking one-dose Covid-19 solutions such as Johnson & Johnson’s.
Now, in order to place and receive the $22m order, InterManager needs to work with a recognised governmental body, in line with current international law.
InterManager is speaking with the UK and Cypriot governments and has others in line too, but so far its efforts have drawn a blank. Mark O’Neil , InterManager president and Columbia Shipmanagement CEO, commented:
“I tear my hair out as to why we can’t get a single government body to authorise this. We could have these vaccines in a pretty short time frame.
” O’Neil is urging all shipmanagers to use their contacts to find a suitable government body to act as a conduit. Inaction may have consequences, O’Neil warned, saying:
“If we miss this opportunity then we’ll be kicking ourselves in a few months’ time when some vessels come to a grinding halt because we don’t have vaccinated seafarers.
” InterManager also reported to its members that Poland and the Netherlands have joined the US and Russia in beginning to vaccinate seafarers and progress is being made in support of seafarers in Belgium, Romania and Denmark.